Dominican Republic (MNN) — Looking to get one more short-term missions trip in before the year ends? You should get in touch with Orphan’s Heart. Vice President and COO Ron Gunter says they’re sending teams to multiple countries, including the Dominican Republic.
“We’re really, really excited about the possibilities there, and we have 9 trips between now and the end of the year,” says Gunter.
“We’re in a partnership with the president of the country and a local church in building a community of 100 homes, a Community Transformation Center (CTC), a school and a medical clinic.”
Villa Liberacion is a community transformation project aimed at ministering to the poorest communities west of Santo Domingo. It’s the largest undertaking thus far in Orphan’s Heart’s five-year existence.
“When we met with the president of the country, he was very concerned about the needs of the people in that part of the country,” Gunter says.
“We just began the project and we’ve got major, major construction going on right now.”
Since July 2013, seven of the 100 homes have been built by volunteer construction teams. They’re more than just buildings, though. They’re a tangible expression of Christ’s love and care for a vulnerable portion of the Dominican Republic’s society.
“40% of the homes in the…Dominican Republic are single-mother homes,” Gunter explains. He says Orphan’s Heart wanted to reach this population in a special way.
“The majority of the homes [we’re building] will be for those single mothers and their families, their children.”
All of these facilities provide opportunities to share the Gospel with communities in Azua by meeting physical needs. The two- and three-bedroom homes provide a safe haven for vulnerable families. The CTC will provide a feeding program, after-school program, and adult training during the week; on Sundays, it will be a church.
But nothing happens — these ministries don’t come to life — until willing hearts move hands and feet.
“[Our entire] ministry is volunteer-driven, so all of these volunteer teams are critical to the success of the ministry,” explains Gunter. “A lot of people don’t realize how impactful a volunteer mission trip is, how it will change your worldview.”
“We have many, many ways for people that are looking for a way that they can go beyond their local community, their local state,” Gunter adds.
“If there’s a way that we, as an organization, can assist a church or individuals, or a family, to be a part of one of these trips we would love to do that.”
While ‘going’ is certainly important, it’s not the only way to get involved.
“Praying, going and giving: those three things will help this ministry tremendously,” says Gunter.
“Pray for all those volunteers that go. Pray for us as leaders in this organization that we will always be sensitive to what God is doing, what God wants done.”